U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Maneuvering Through the Maze: The Learning Handicapped Offender in the Justice System

NCJ Number
Pointer Volume: 31 Issue: 3 Dated: (Spring 1987) Pages: 56-59
B I Wolford
Date Published
4 pages
This article presents the dilemma of the learning handicapped offender in the justice system.
Over 50 percent of the youth under correctional supervision in one State have previously been enrolled in special education programs. Frequently, the criminal actions that brought these youths before the court were at least in part a manifestation of the youth's environment and lifestyle. Attempts to aid youth in the transition from correctional supervision to a 'free society' must focus not only on individuals but also upon key elements of the environment that they are re-entering (family, school, peer groups, and employment). Typical juvenile offenders who are committed to a correctional agency have been raised in a troubled and/or single parent home; exposed to physical, sexual, or emotional abuse or neglect; experienced failure in school; and been a member of a peer group comprised largely of troubled peers. They move from status offenses to more criminal activities. Examples of community resources assisting in the transition from correctional agencies to society include: (1) the Westbank Educational Service Center in Louisiana, where treatment programs include probation services, life skills, and family therapy; (2) Washington Transition Model, which maintains a continuum of services based on interagency agreement; and (3) Kentucky's Continuum of Services. 1 table, 1 figure and 9 references.